politics

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Jeff Padwa, the chief of staff for general treasurer Seth Magaziner, is headed back to the private sector.

Padwa is joining the politically well known firm of Darrow Everett as a partner.

John Bender / RIPR

State lawmakers and local supporters showed up Thursday for the opening of the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Providence. Many of the state’s Democratic leadership, including Governor Gina Raimondo are backing the former Secretary of State.

Warwick resident Justine Lutzel-Caldwell voted for Clinton in 2008 and favors her positions on women’s health.

The head of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island is part of a group of Episcopal bishops raising concerns about divisive rhetoric in the presidential election. The bishops have issued a rare, unanimous statement condemning “violent forces” that are turning Americans "against their neighbors."

Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island gives the example of crowds threatening to riot if their candidate is not elected, or politicians who blame a small group for the problems of the larger society.

Proposed Bill Aims to Prevent Head Injuries in Softball

Feb 29, 2016

Softball isn’t often in the news for causing head trauma, but local lawmaker Eileen Naughton thinks that is an oversight. The Democratic Representative from Warwick introduced legislation last week requiring Interscholastic League pitchers, first basemen and third basemen to wear protective facemasks.

Naughton is herself a former high school softball player, and she says that while people pay more attention to women’s sports than they did in her youth, dangerous injuries in girls’ athletics are still not getting the attention they deserve.

John Bender / RIPR

Voters head to the polls in New Hampshire Tuesday to pick presidential candidates in the New Hampshire primary. Dozens of Rhode Islanders have been trekking to the Granite State to help candidates from both parties make their case.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Following the announcement that the Pawtucket Red Sox would not pursue a new stadium on a parcel of downtown Providence land, Pawtucket’s mayor Donald Grebien joins our Political Roundtable. He talks about sagging numbers at McCoy Stadium, economic development in the city, and the Pope’s U.S. visit.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

RIPR FILE

The executive director of the state’s Board of Elections could face termination, if he doesn’t improve his job performance. The board voted to put director Bob Kando on a probationary period in June. The group chose to disclose the vote at their meeting this Wednesday

Board of elections member Stephen Erickson says among several issues, the board felt Kando did not comply properly with ethics laws.

Katherine Doherty

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo took the ice bucket challenge Tuesday afternoon on the Statehouse steps. Alongside half a dozen Rhode Island politicians, Raimondo dumped more than three gallons of icy water on her head to raise money for ALS research.

The ice bucket challenge is part of a national campaign to raise awareness about ALS and fund research for a cure. 

Raimondo took the challenge from Massachussetts Governor Charlie Baker. She has now challenged House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed to take up the cause.

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Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visits the Ocean State Tuesday for a fundraiser in Jamestown.

The democrat will attend an event billed as a cookout at the home Liz and Michael Perik, an entrepreneur in education technology. Tickets start at $100 per person, and can cost as much as $2,700. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.

O’Malley stops in the Ocean State in between stumping in Iowa and nearby New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island’s former House Speaker Gordon Fox must report to federal prison this week. Fox will serve a three-year jail term scheduled to start on Tuesday.

Elisabeth Harrison

After months of anticipation, the General Assembly failed to pass a single bill related to charter schools.

That's good news if you're in the charter school world. It means lawmakers failed to reach agreement on bills that would place new restrictions on the expansion of charter schools and reopen the state funding formula to reduce money for charter schools.

RIPR FILE

Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to make it official next week: he's running for president.

Chafee's campaign confirmed Friday that he will officially launch his bid for the democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday. The announcement is expected during a speech at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

After forming an exploratory committee in April, Chafee has visited some early primary states, including New Hampshire. He often criticizes democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for her Senate vote in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Candidates who’ve run for office owe a total of more than $2 million in fines to the state Board of Elections for past-due campaign reports. The board collected about $43,000 in fines last year.

Former South Kingstown State Senator Patrick McDonald owes the most – nearly $214,000 -- in the Board of Election’s newly posted list of outstanding fines. The outlook for collecting that money is considered bleak as McDonald is currently serving prison time for embezzlement.

Saying the gag order interferes with news organizations' efforts to inform the public, the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association has called on Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter to lift the order.

The gag order prevents parties to the pension lawsuit from discussing details of a proposed settlement, which is already being voted on by union members and retirees.

Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers will consider legislation today that would up the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. Rhode Islanders can currently start buying cigarettes at age 18. 

The new legislation would bar people under the age of 21 from buying cigarettes, or any other tobacco related products.  That includes cigars, chewing tobacco, and the increasingly popular e-cigarettes.

The House Committee on health, education and welfare is taking up the bill.

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